Schoolkids in Karnataka to be Registered for Aadhaar by March

BENGALURU:  Though the Supreme Court has directed that the Aadhaar card not be made mandatory, the State Department of Public Instruction has decided to go ahead and complete Aadhaar registration for schoolchildren by March 2016. The Department is sending dedicated vehicles with Aadhaar kits to schools across the state.

The Department is spending `3 crore for this and an official circular issued on Monday by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) reads, “The Department is getting information of students with Aadhaar number and also aims to complete registration for all the school children by March 2016. The government has directed that Aadhaar numbers be provided to all children at schools across the state. For this purpose, the Department is sending a dedicated vehicle with a kit including Aadhaar registering machine.”

The recent verdict of the Supreme Court directed states not to make Aadhaar number mandatory.  As per information available from the Department, the aim is to register 50.8 lakh children aged between 5 to 18 years at all government, aided and unaided institutions. At some districts, there are camps for Aadhaar registration being conducted at several schools.

However, the private schools are not clear about what measures need to be taken in this regard. Speaking to Express, D Shashi Kumar, General Secretary of the Karnataka Associated Management of English Medium Schools (KAMS), said, “We are getting inquiries from member schools on this, but we cannot make it mandatory. We will just announce it and it is left to the parents to get the job done.” Consumer activist V L Somashekar said that the move by the State Government was a clear waste of public money, “as the validity of Aadhaar is yet to be upheld by the court”.